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Sophia Ivey

Baby Teeth

There is nothing left

to burn so I put my finger tips

in the flame.

Like a fishhook inserting

itself into me I can feel

every tooth I've ever lost – every

receding gum – I am a body born

from memory. I read somewhere

baby teeth do not fall out

until they let go of their roots.

My father once pulled my front

fang out with his fist when he was angry.

He – They – did not give me the luxury

of letting my baby teeth unhand themselves.

Catholic Guilt

My mother used to say the fuzz

on top of my curls shined like

a halo in the Florida light. Though she may protest,

I know I am no saint. She does not know

how many Plan B’s I have struggled

to open with my car keys outside of

our neighborhood CVS. The weeks I starved the

devil that rests an inch above my belly button until

I did not see a glop of chestnut-

colored mucus in my faint-colored rose panties for six

months straight. Now, every month I bleed

the color of Saint Anne’s veil, though I will never be

the Mother of Mary, or a mother to any unlucky

child, not if I keep tearing the flesh between my thighs

like a mother digging up her child’s grave to feel

less lonely in her grief. Years ago, I watched as I bled a milky

pink – I cried into my sheets because I could not bury

blood-clots. Now I pray to Mary and that implant

in my upper left arm because I am not sure if

I can survive anymore pain. Awhile back I got a tattoo

of the Lady of Guadalupe on my thigh. Her hands

in prayer, her head close to my pussy lips

so she can witness every sin I let crawl inside me.

She is positioned right where you touched me after you

ignored my protests. I hoped the ink would erase

your DNA but I read somewhere it takes seven years

for cells to refresh and at this rate I'll be dead

before I'll ever be untouched.


Sophia Ivey is a current MFA candidate at North Carolina State University for Poetry. They have been published in numerous places, including The Oakland Arts Review, Outrageous Fortune, and Ghost City Press. Her poetry revolves around the environment of Southern America, generational trauma, gender perception, and their queerness and disabilities. Sophia just ended an internship at Blair Publishing and works part-time as a Marketing Coordinator, but in their free time he enjoys researching native plants in the area. They are also a big fan of bugs.


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